The iHunch

The Backpod: Lie back and treat yourself

Everyone knows someone who's getting hunched and sore.


Image explaining the iHunch


Recent indications are that the iHunch, also called 'text neck', is now the biggest upper spinal problem in the computer-savvy world.  Statistically, one in every six people reading this will have acute pain in their upper back or neck, or headaches coming from the neck - right now.  And everyone knows someone who’s hunched and sore - it’s a tsunami.  Wikipedia has a good article on the iHunch.

This isn’t unusual or mysterious - why lots of bending causes problems is well understood.  What has exploded the numbers are laptops, tablets and smartphones.  These are not like desk top computers - they cannot be set up ergonomically correctly, because you can’t separate their screens from their keyboards.  You have to hunch to use them.

So ergonomics, standing desks, etc. don’t help much with this particular common problem.  What you can do is treat and look after your spine so it’ll handle lots of hunching - over phones or computers or anything else.  That’s what the Backpod and its home program of stretching, strengthening, massage and posture are for.

Most other treatment approaches don’t cover all the bases.  Gyms strengthen muscles; yoga stretches them, massage massages the muscles; chiropractors and osteopaths click the joints free temporarily; medications and acupuncture try to suppress the pain but don’t treat the problems causing it.  They’re not wrong, but they all cover just one part of the problem, so you usually get results that are limited and don’t last.

You need to deal to each part of the problem - it’s the collection that works.  The simple home program is in the user guide which comes with the Backpod, and there's also a PDF of that near the bottom of this page.  It's also presented as videos on this page (see just below).  The reasons why the Backpod itself is also needed are explained on the BACKPOD page.

The Backpod exactly suits other hunching problems as well - it’s specifically designed for all groups and medical conditions with problems from bending forward.  So it’s for all computer users (and especially for laptop, tablet and smartphone users), dentists, chefs, surgeons, bank tellers, gamers, hairdressers, builders, nursing mothers, drivers, doctors, anyone with ankylosing spondylitis, Scheuermann’s Disease (Scheuermann’s osteochondritis), nurses, cyclists, seamstresses, jewellers, slouching adolescents - and anyone else who’s getting sore and hunched.  Health professionals, especially surgeons and dentists, get a double hit of hunching - bending over patients at work and then over the usual laptops and smartphones away from it.  Here's how they can care for themselves, not just others.

Video presentations of the Backpod’s home program - the simple basics needed to pull a hunched spine back towards perfect posture.

Effective weight of the head on the spine at different neck angles

Why just using a smartphone, tablet or laptop is such a problem for the neck.

It’s not the weight of the smartphone - it’s how you have to hold your neck that causes the problems.

On average, people check their smartphones every 12 minutes.  Bending forward requires the muscles down the back of the neck (especially the upper trapezius) to work several times harder than when the head is upright.  It’s like holding a heavy pack or suitcase on your head.  In 2013, the average U.K. 18-24 year-old spent 8.83 hours a day hunched over laptops, tablets and smartphones like this.  Unsurprisingly, the muscles will often strain, and the spinal joints freeze in that hunched position.

The body's repair of torn muscle cells involves scarring (adhesive fibrosis) - which is non-elastic.  That's why the Backpod's programme includes simple home massage - to break up tethering scarring fibres and so restore the muscle to its normal healthy flexibility.

Reviews of the Backpod

'7 Exercises That Instantly Unhunch Your Shoulders + BONUS' by Bob Shrupp and Brad Heineck - "The two most famous Physical Therapists on the Internet"

More information - download or view

Backpod at a glance - quick information sheet
Full Backpod user guide (2020) - includes technical information for doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, etc.